The 2024 proposed Conference apportionment budget target of $4.232 million was approved during the Texas Annual Conference on Tuesday, May 30. The 2023 apportionment spending target of $5.018 million was also presented. The original 2023 apportionment budget target was $9.286 million but was reduced by $4.268 million due to the impact stemming from disaffiliation in December 2022. 

Don Morriss, Chair of the Council on Finance and Administration, presented the budget plan. He is also a lay member of Texarkana’s Williams Memorial UMC.  

“We are so grateful to each district, church and member for each contribution submitted to support the on-going ministries of the Texas Annual Conference and our continued connectional work together,” he said. “Our Conference is financially stable and continues to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world, no matter what the future brings.”  

He explained that the continued faithfulness of members of the TAC has ensured financial solvency.  

Bishop Harvey added that the people that prepare the Texas Annual Conference budget do so with lots of prayer. It’s Holy work to Robert Besser, Mark Hellums, Don Morriss and the rest of the team, they don’t take what they are asked to do for granted, and I am thankful for that,” she said.

In 2022, Conference receipts exceeded expenses by $1.382 million. Investment returns resulted in losses totaling $2.371 million. The net effect was a decline in Conference operating reserves in the amount of $0.989 million during the year. Operating reserves for 2022 totaled $10.109 million, down from the 2021 reported reserve of $11.098 million.  

Apportionments accounted for $15.3 million, about 90 percent of the budget target for 2022. The annual receipts represented an increase of about 16.7 percentage points over 2021.  

Morriss compared this to 2021, when the TAC received 73.7 percent of the budget target. He noted that the increase this year is attributed to disaffiliated churches that were required to pay both their 2021 and 2022 apportionments prior to separation. 

The 2022 net assets for the Conference total $41.1 million, which includes cash of $2.7 million, nonrestricted investments of $27.3 million and restricted investments of $11.1 million. 

The Conference’s designated reserves total $19.9 million. Morriss explained that this represents specific funds set aside for certain ministries and programs. Examples of such programs include disaster relief efforts, the We Love All God’s Children initiative, Center for Leadership Formation and development of new faith communities.  

Operating reserves of $10.1 million are calculated by subtracting the Conference’s designated reserves of $19.9 million from the cash and nonrestricted investments position totaling $30 million.  

Apportionment receipts in 2023 are expected to decrease by 45.96 percent due to the number of former UMC churches that exited under disaffiliation in 2022. As a result, the apportionment budget target is $5.018 million down from the original 2023 budget target of $9.286 million.   

The spending plan for 2023 includes the apportionment target of $5.018 million, as well as $1.475 million in annual funding from benefits and departmental sources. In addition, designated reserves totaling $1.395 million have been earmarked to assist in funding ministries in 2023 if necessary. Finally, disaffiliation reserves of $1.182 million are available during the year. These receipts reflect the apportionment funds paid by disaffiliating churches in 2022 for unpaid 2021 Texas Annual Conference apportioned amounts. 

The budget for 2024 includes the apportionment target of $4.232 million, as well as $1.075 million in annual funding from benefits and departmental sources.   

Since 2010, the Pension Reserve has been used to pay administration costs incurred in managing the pension and group health benefits plans. In 2024, that amount will be $719,356.  Departmental expenses are built into the following designated reserves: Board of Trustees, Episcopal Office, and Sustentation Fund. Departmental expenses are funded from these reserves annually. “For 2024, we anticipate $356,138 of these reserves to get us through, if necessary,” Morriss said.  

As in 2023, designated reserves totaling $1.483 million have been earmarked to assist in funding ministries in 2024 if necessary. Disaffiliation reserves of $0.051 million would be carried over into 2024 to be available for funding initiatives that year. Morriss explained that disaffiliation reserves would be used only if necessary in 2023 and 2024.